NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A hardnosed rushing attack, coupled with a stingy defense, was an equation for Manchester University Homecoming 2013 success Saturday, Oct. 5.
Junior running back Austin Adams (Dowagiac, Mich.) had a banner day, going for 140 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Nick Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was just off triple digits on the ground (16 carries for 79 yards) as part of a 253-yard rushing attack that helped lead to a 34-7 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win.
Meanwhile, the visiting Bluffton University of Ohio Beavers (1-4 overall, 1-2 HCAC) managed only 36 yards rushing and were intercepted four times by Manchester University's defense in passing attempts. The Spartans' defense also found its way into Bluffton's backfield throughout the afternoon, winding up with three sacks amongst eight tackles for losses.
Playing in front of big crowd of just under 2800 at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field, the Spartans, improving to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in league play, moved out quickly. A four-play, 64-yard march off the opening kickoff put them in the end zone, as Adams broke through the defense and scampered the final 35 yards. MU added to lead later in the stanza with the first of two field goals from freshman placekicker Riley Ellington (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Bluffton countered early in the second quarter with a touchdown march of its own, trimming the lead to 10-7. However, just as it seemed the guests might be poised to overtake the Black and Gold, senior linebacker Zach Dashner (South Bend, Ind.) stepped in front of a BU pass attempt and rambled 15 yards for a touchdown, giving MU its 10-point cushion back at halftime.
Two more Spartan picks, one from junior linebacker Evan West (Hartford City, Ind.) and the other from freshman linebacker Jordan Kleber (Seymour, Ind.), coupled with three three-and-out stands by MU's defense, kept the visitors at bay the remainder of the game. The offense took advantage, registering rushing touchdowns from Adams and senior running back Joe Hunter (Rushville, Ind.) to go along with Ellington's final field goal, putting the game away.
Manchester University opens a two-game road trip Saturday, Oct. 12, by taking on Defiance College of Ohio. Kickoff at Justin F. Corresel Stadium is 1:30 p.m.
NOTES: Adams' rushing total was the most for an MU back since Williams rushed for 143 against Hanover last November … The win was the fifth in the last six against Bluffton.